What does this guy mean?

I recently completed a site and another gentleman is hosting it.

It's proving to be a bit of a challenge in that, while I thought his hosting it would provide me easy access to the files and database, apparently that isn't the case.

I've dealt with several ISPs and I've never been restricted in having access to the phpMyAdmin. When I asked him for the login credentials, I got this: "I don’t generally open up phpMyAdmin because of the security holes.  I’d have to move this off a shared server to a new VM if we want to open that up so that it can’t hose anything else up."

I don't know what that means and I want to sound intelligent when I respond. Bottom line: I'm having to make some changes and edits and I don't want to always have to knock on his door to put the changes in place before it goes live. When he talks about moving it to a new Virtual Machine - frankly, I'm not familiar enough with network dynamics to understand what he's doing or why me being given access to the database is suddenly akin to signing up for a new Healthcare plan. He's a good guy, so I'm not suspecting he's being difficult, I just want to have a better idea of what's happening on his end so I can figure out how to best proceed.

Also, when I asked him for the ftp login credentials, I got this: "It going to take a little adjustment.  Do you have sftp?   I’ve set the owner to a user tkd and the group to apache for the web service.  Anything uploaded via sftp won’t have the right permissions by default either so will have to be fixed."

I know "sftp" is either "Simple File Transport Protocol" or perhaps, "Secure File Transport Protocol," but either way, all I've ever done is use an ftp client like Fetch, enter in my login credentials and got to work. I've never encountered this many chutes and ladders in an attempt to access either the database or the files.

What is he asking for and what do I need to have in place so I can communicate with his server based on the questions he's asking?
brucegustPHP DeveloperAsked:
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Marco GasiFreelancerCommented:
IMHO, this gentleman is creating difficulties where they shouldn't be at all. All the times my sites have been hosted i shared servers, I've got a control panel (Plesk or CPanel) with full access to phpMyAdmin and to ftp. I really don't know what this man wants, but if possible I would move to another hosting provider a soon as possible.

Cheers
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käµfm³d 👽Commented:
I know "sftp" is either "Simple File Transport Protocol" or perhaps, "Secure File Transport Protocol,"
SFTP is FTP over SSH. It's a way of securely transferring files via FTP protocol.
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brucegustPHP DeveloperAuthor Commented:
What does he mean when he asks "What platform are you using?" In the past, I've always heard that in the context of either "Windows" or "Linux," but never anything that would effect the way in which files are being uploaded to a server.

And why is he talking about a Virtual Machine? I'm not even sure how that looks or why that's even an issue. The depth of my knowledge in terms of ISP is either Shared or Dedicated server. What is a Virtual Machine and how does that effect my access one way or another?
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GaryCommented:
This guy sounds like he has no idea but...
How did you setup your database initially, how are you connecting to your database?
You must have the login details already - if he doesn't want to allow phpMyAdmin then you can use something like Adminer

VM - would be a partition on the server dedicated for example to one person - they have the dedicated resources attached to them and they are not shared - if you are on shared hosting then it is nothing you should need to know about.

But agree with marqusG - move to a real host.
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Ray PaseurCommented:
Agree with marqusG and GaryC123.  I use and am pleased to recommend ChiHost.com.  I have also had good experiences with HostGator and LiquidWeb.  Many of my colleagues like SliceHost.  

I avoid GoDaddy, 1and1 and SiteGround.

You can go to the front page of PHP.net and look in the "Thanks to" part to find a list of competent hosting companies.
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Cornelia YoderArtistCommented:
Get a new webhost.  

I have used    www.pair.com    for over 10 years and have had nothing but support, help, and service whenever I needed it.
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Slick812Commented:
greetings brucegust, , I will give my opinion here, but I can not be sure of what you may be dealing with.
You ask - "What is a Virtual Machine and how does that effect my access one way or another?"
First, He just does not want you to have access to DATABASE that allows you to disrupt the other Tables that are not yours, so he just sets up a virtual machine (exists as your access to your portion of DATABASE), this will separate your Database access from the other tables, that Are NOT yours, so you can not see or delete Data that is not yours. Although there are other ways to do this sort of thing, if you are experienced in Server admin, you can pop in a VM in no time.
It sounds as though to me, your host guy knows some stuff.
But you should ask and see if he can get you the access you need and ask for guidelines as to what to do and how to do it, he is concerned with security, and if he was ignorant he would be sloppy and insecure.
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GaryCommented:
If he won't allow access to the DB because Bruce will have access to everyone else's tables then he definitely has no idea about hosting websites.
And to run his website he must already have access to the db.
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Sounds like an amateur web host.  To not have phpMyAdmin or SSH is pretty limiting.

I have one host that will not put up phpMyAdmin because of security problems with it.  But I do have shell/ssh access so that's not a real problem.  In addition, I do have remote access to MySQL so I can use phpMyAdmin and other programs here on my own computers to do what ever I need.
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Slick812Commented:
@GaryC123, you are most likely correct, he may be dumb as a brick. But there really does not seem to be much info from brucegust about any knowledge that his Host guy may or may not have, but maybe I'm the one that's dumb as a brick, as is usual here at EE for me.
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GaryCommented:
You are probably right about the access Slick, but it shouldn't be possible to start with.
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brucegustPHP DeveloperAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the input guys. I think what I'm going to do is submit the batch of changes and edits that I have and if he expresses any kind of hesitation, I'll suggest that he just redirect the DNS to me so as not to be a burden and frame it like that.
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